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I own a large wetland (about 10 acres) that holds water year round. However the wetland is dominated by an invasive species call purple loosestrife. This plant is so thick that there is barley any open water for ducks to land in. Anyone ever deal with this plant or have any idea how to control it? I would like to open up a spot for the ducks to land to hunt over but im not sure if the plants will just grow back if i cut them down.
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It can be done with lots of hard work. The biggest problem is once the plant is killed the wood debris. We have a wetland that was completely cover and once it was sprayed we went in with weed eaters with metal blades and cut and removed all the plants. The wetland dried out in the summer so we were able to get a rototiller in and break up all the stumps. After that was done we were able to plant millet, smartweed and such. We have to put lots of nitrogen on it to help break down the wood debris. Also the seed bank on them is very high so I am spraying ever week just to keep them under control. I wish i took picture before the work but here is an after picture. Well worth the effort but lots of work. You can see some of the purple loosestreaf in the lower left corner and the green you see is millet.
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You've got a multiyear project and still are not assured that your effort will be effective. If you can drain the wetland, you have a better chance of success. They will grow back if mowed and not treated with something that will kill the root system. Glyphosate (Roundup) or generic would be your best and cheapest choice of herbicide. If you can drain and dry out, several apps in multiple years would allow you to spray prior to the plant producing the flowers/seed. If you can't drain, then spot spraying with glyphosate (Rodeo is approved for water borne plants but is just watered down Roundup) will give you temporay killing but will not be near as effective as draining and allowing the area to dry down. The plant produces from both seed and the prior root system. Seeds can stay in the ground for several years prior to germinating. Hence the need for multiyear control.
Good luck as you have a real problem gettin rid of the stuff. Spraying, then mowing after a day or so on dried up areas would also be more effective (prior to heading out).
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